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GEORG VAN ECK

Daar is gewis lig in die tonnel vir Suid-Afrika en sy mense en dit is nie die lig van ’n aankomende trein nie! Hierdie verhaal van welwillendheid, menslikheid en ook die dankbaarheid wat daaruit voorspruit, gee ''n mens skoon hoendervel.

Dit volg op die brief van Marianne Blaine wat verlede week in Courant verskyn het, waarin sy haar dankbaarheid uitspreek teenoor ''n barmhartige taxibestuurder, Ryan Snelling, sy vriendin, die polisie van Edenburg, die ambulanspersoneel, Wayne van Asterix-insleepdienste, Mediclinic Bloemfontein en die dokters en hospitaal wat hulp verleen het aan haar dogter, Helen, wat in ''n motorongeluk betrokke was. Hierdie keer is dit die lede van die bergfietsspan, Team Geniuses, wat ’n barmhartige Samaritaan, Johan van Wyk, uit die diepte van hul hart bedank vir die hulp wat aan een van hul beseerde lede, Mahau Ranchole, in die veld verleen is.

“Daar is ‘goodwill’ onder die mense van Suid-Afrika, wit en swart, ondanks die misdaad wat ons teister,” sê Thabang Selemela, een van die lede van die bergfietsspan.

Hy is die man wat gaan hulp soek het vir sy vriend en Van Wyk op ’n grondpad tussen Glen en Maselspoort, sowat 40 km buite Bloemfontein, voorgekeer het. Selemela, wat by die Vrystaatse Departement van Omgewingsake en Toerisme werksaam is en baie fiks is, vertel self die verhaal: “Mountain biking is very exciting but can also be very dangerous. Team Geniuses went on our usual Saturday morning ride and as fate would have it, we decided to explore a new route.

“Before we knew it, we had taken a turn leading you behind Maselspoort Resort, landing us on a sharp and very downward slope. I took a quick glimpse at my speedometer and it read 45 kph. I knew I had to take extra care as I whizzed down.

“This wasn’t to be the case for one of my fellow riders. The guy lost control and was thumped into a deep bush. He came out dazed and limping, with bad skin lacerations. For a minute we thought he had broken a rib or injured his neck. I pedalled out looking for help while the other guys were making frantic phone calls to summon an ambulance.

“Some 3 kilometres from the scene of the accident I saw a fast moving bakkie and I made all sorts of gestures while cycling to get the attention of the driver. He noticed me and stopped. The stranger was a white man who attentively listened to my plea for help. He did not think twice or asked questions, except for ‘where is the man?’ As I led him to the scene to take our friend to hospital, we were met halfway by the ambulance.

“Our friend recovered after two hours at Rosepark Hospital. Fortunately there were no broken bones. “I deliberately mentioned the skin colour of the man who helped us, it is for a reason. There are lessons to learn. In this country some of us can be very silly and cynical at times. We mistrust each other, we fail to be compassionate, all based on the colour of our skins. But in this case, a gentleman (I didn’t even ask his name, nor he mine: I later on learnt he is called Johan) saw a human being in trouble and decided to help! Period.

“I could have been lying. I could have been a murderer baiting him to a trap. He could have said ‘an injured man, blood, etc. in my car?’…yet he didn’t. Johan, you are my hero and I hope you will allow me to call you my friend!” Hierdie is nie net ’n goeie nuusstorie nie, want dit het so ''n lekker kinkel. Team Geniuses doen self ook liefdadigheidswerk.

Op van hul bergfietstogte om Bloemfontein het dié span geesdriftige ryers op ’n baie arm groep mense by die Tierpoortdam afgekom en sommer daar en dan besluit om die mense te help. “Ons lewer gereeld kospakkies daar af, koop pakke doeke vir die babas en help met skoolklere vir die kinders.

Hulle is bekend as “Friends of Tierpoort” en het as liefdadigheidsgroep hul eie Facebook-blad. Dalk is hierdie ’n geval van ‘werp jou brood op die water''.

Lede van Team Geniuses is: Sabe Madaza, Thabang Selemela, Lereng Mafanyolle, Tumo Mokhatla, Mzwandile Kataza en Neo Phetlho.